Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Wordless Wednesday - SHOW off that family treasure & TELL the story - Kerry Anderson

Editor's note: Today's post was written by Sandra Gardner-Benward with help and additional picture from Kerry Anderson. Special thanks to Judy Nissila for meeting photos.

...........and here is the first of many 'members items' from our February Show N Tell. Enjoy!!

Kerry ANDERSON shared this wonderful walking cane which belonged to her Great Great Grandfather.

This cane was presented to her 2x grandfather, John Gleeson HIGGINS, at the Catholic Church Fair in Brimfield, Peoria, Illinois, in 1884.The cane is made of ebony wood and has a gold head inscribed with these words: "Presented to John G. Higgins at the Catholic Church Fair, Brimfield, Ill., June 1884.  Although I do not know exactly why he received the cane, he was a prominent member of the Irish community in Peoria.

Peoria County, Illinois /
The HIGGINS family left Ballybricken, County Limerick, Ireland in the summer of 1846, aboard a ship named Victoria.  That date makes it likely that the HIGGIN family group was escaping the Great Famine.

The family group was made up of John HIGGINS and Ann RIORDAN Higgins (my 4xgreat grandparents) and their seven children.  The oldest was son Daniel whose wife Jane GLEESON Higgins was 81/2 months pregnant.  John G. was born at sea to Daniel & Jane, (my 3xgreat grandparents), during the voyage.  

They sailed to Quebec, Canada on the ship Victoria. and then followed the rivers and canals to Illinois, eventually settling in Peoria.

John Gleeson HIGGINS married Alice McDONNELL of Peoria in 1871and they had four children: Daniel, Alexander, Jennie, and Richard.  When John G's father retired, John G. took over the family "feed & flour" store, and he was also a Justice of the Peace. 
Brimfield, Peoria County, Illinois / 

John G. & Alice and three of their grown children came to California in the early 1900's and settled in Vallejo where John G. owned Higgins Shoe Store.  

He died in 1933.

........and now introducing you to John Gleeson HIGGINS with two of his grandsons, Richard (age 8) and John Earl (age 4) (Kerry's grandfather)..................... 

l to r: John Gleeson Higgins (2xgreatgrandfather),  Betty (Kerry's mother & daughter of John Earl) John Earl (holding his daughter Betty is Kerry's grandfather) and Daniel ( her great grandfather and John Earl's father).
AND there you have a snapshot in time of four generations. Congratulations!

What a great story............... and a very brave family
................a major move from Ireland over the ocean, pregnant & deliver while on the ocean land in a strange land called Canada, and then make your way into Illinois and finally California

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